In today’s City AM, No. 10 quoted as saying “a chance exists of making progress towards a lasting peace in Syria!” Oh good! The penny has finally dropped then. The trouble is, May herself has wrecked that chance by an ill timed and fatal intervention.
Boris Johnson is the only politician who actually has a strategy for peace in Syria. He worked it out in 2016. Putin had caught wind of that strategy, so issued an open invitation to visit whenever Boris wanted. He was about to leave when for some reason, May ordered him not to go. The US was happy for the visit to go ahead. Boris was keen to go. And Putin was keen for Boris to go. What possible reason could May have had for wrecking what looked like a real chance for peace?
This isn’t the first time a May intervention in foreign policy proved a disaster. Boris Johnson had cause to chide the Saudis over human rights issues. A furious May kicked off, ranting and raving, he mustn’t offend them. The bemused Saudis stuck up for Boris, said they were not offended, he had been tactful and they appreciated his honesty!
Now it is Mrs. May who boasts we are not afraid to raise questions of human rights with the Saudis.
This intervention with Russia from May has been far more damaging. Certain members of the G7, guess who? Germany and France, have gleefully mown down Boris’s amended strategy for sanctions against the Russians. We are precisely nowhere, back to square one! A golden opportunity has been missed.
Boris should have been allowed to quietly go off and talk in depth with the Russians and who knows what could have transpired. For whatever reason, they wanted to talk to him, probably because it was his strategy.
When Theresa May first became PM, Ken Clarke barked: “Of course, she knows nothing about foreign affairs!” Sadly Mrs. May still doesn’t.